Design of the Computer Subsystem for the AFIT Simulation Satellite (SIMSAT)

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

Stuart C. Kramer, PhD


This document details the systematic development of the computer subsystem for the AFIT Simulation Satellite (SIMSAT) from Concept Exploration to Implementation. This subsystem design effort was conducted as part of a larger four-phase team design effort to implement a fully functional, user-friendly test facility to meet current AFIT teaching and research requirements. Once SIMSAT system integration is complete, control laws will execute on the free-floating "satellite" to reduce communication systems overhead and its impact on control law execution, thereby allowing for more robust control system development and execution. Control law development, simulation, and interactive control of the system will occur through a "ground station" graphical user interface to enhance simulation capability and provide for more intuitive system control. The final subsystem design decision made in this effort was to implement the computer subsystem with an integrated hardware/software, commercial, off-the-shelf system. Detailed information on the design process, computer subsystem implementation, lessons learned, suggestions for future work, and procedures for system use are included in this document.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number



The author's Vita page is omitted.